Recovering deleted files is an important job of a data forensic specialist, as an essential part of many digital forensics investigations is retrieving deleted files that could be used as evidence. Here, the data forensics experts at Atlantic Data Forensics provide an overview of the process of recovering deleted files for both files deleted accidentally, and more serious cases where data is purposefully deleted to hide evidence.
Deleted Files can be Retrieved from the Recycle Bin
As 93% of information is stored on a digital domain, it is common for files to be deleted accidentally, or for seemingly unimportant documents to be deleted only to become needed later on when the document no longer exists as an original file. Deleted computer files can cause inconvenience and stress for computer users, but luckily, it is possible to retrieve many deleted files from the recycle bin on a computer’s desktop. By searching through the contents of your recycle bin, a temporary storage place for deleted files until they are more permanently erased from a desktop, you may be able to retrieve accidentally lost files.
If files are no longer stored in the recycle bin, there are data recovery tools that can be utilized to possibly retrieve lost data from a hard drive, as the content of a deleted computer file is not always permanently removed from the computer. Deleted files or documents can be retrieved by a process of scanning an entire hard drive and analyzing the file system in order to successfully recover any lost data, methods utilized by experienced data recovery specialists, such as those at Atlantic Data Forensics.
Files are Often Damaged or Deleted to Remove Evidence
Often, the work of a digital forensics expert includes the retrieval of purposefully deleted files, documents, emails, pictures and other digital content that was damaged as a method of destroying evidence. The act of deleting computer files in order to hide evidence of a crime is common, yet the data is rarely ever deleted permanently. At the simplest level, deleted files can be easily retrieved by a digital forensics specialist if the file was merely deleted from the computer—as mentioned above, deleted files are hardly ever removed entirely from a computer’s hard drive, especially on a Windows system, as deleted files are solely removed from the original directory.
While the process of retrieving digital evidence may seem complex to the average computer user, data recovery specialists have unique software and forensic tools that allow them to retrieve damaged or deleted computer files or to decipher information surrounding encrypted data. It is important to consult a digital forensics expert in the case that you cannot retrieve lost files, or if you are involved in a lawsuit in which digital data retrieval may be a necessary part of an investigation.
Speak to a Digital Forensics Expert For Deleted, Damaged or Encrypted File Retrieval
The process of recovering deleted files can range in complexity—it can be as easy as searching through a recycle bin or as complicated as using special forensic tools to scan hard drives, analyze encrypted files or recover purposefully damaged data. The digital forensics and safe data recovery experts at Atlantic Data Forensics have years of experience retrieving lost files that could be used as evidence in a legal investigation. If you have any questions regarding safe data retrieval, contact us today.